Alexi Lalas on Sweden’s win over Switzerland: ‘Don’t underestimate the Zlatan factor’ | 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Today

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Alexi Lalas, Clarence Seedorf and Martin O’Neill discuss Sweden’s victory over Switzerland in the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

- The big story for Switzerland heading into this game the absence of two key defenders including their captain. Where on the day did your eyes, though, was Sweden the better team?

- Well, Sweden have their [INAUDIBLE] spot on. I think they are flexible. The coach has shown that with the players, of course, from match one, being able to adapt to each game, what was needed to get the result. Today, they did it again. They changed, they pressed a little bit higher, even if Switzerland had the better position of the ball.

Still, Sweden has created the best chances of the match. And I think this is a dangerous side for everybody to play against today, because this team spirit is something special.

- The resolve of Sweden is remarkable. If you go back to their last group stage game, remember, they started the day in third place, and coming off that loss to Germany in the late seconds. They come out hard against Mexico, set a tone. Since then, this has been an amazingly difficult team to match up against.

Well, they are because I don't think that they've got an awful lot of natural talent in their team. But what I think they have is that durability. I feel that because after that German game, they kind of felt really down and out. But the ability, that Scandinavian mentality, I think, just to come back again.

To climb back into that hotel again, and think, you know what, we were so nearly there. Listen, we just have to take that in the chin, and just get back again. And by heavens, they did do against Mexico. Big, big win, it took them through. And I think that that tied their confidence into today's game.

- They were a team that seems to maximize their talent.

- They do. And don't underestimate the Zlatan factor. They were having to answer questions before this game once again for a player who has not been with this team, hasn't been with this team for a while. And it brings you together. Even if you don't necessarily-- you don't have to like everybody you play with. Matter of fact, you're probably not going to like everybody. But you have to have a respect. And sometimes, external forces will bring you even closer together and say, they're talking about this guy again. This guy isn't even part of the team. He doesn't even know what we're doing here, and it brings you closer together.

And we've said, this team mentality where individually, OK players. Not great players, and certainly not a global superstar like Zlatan among their midst. But when they get together, there is something special about this team. They all understand their individual roles, and collectively, they understand exactly how they want to play. They know what they are, and they know what they're not.

CLARENCE SEEDORF: And also, if you look at their striker, you said, Martin, how he has difficulty to find the goal, going into a group into this tournament, we may see him actually getting it right.

MARTIN O'NEILL: I totally agree with that. Absolutely agree with that, because it sometimes happens that way as well, Clarence, that some days, he's had a real struggle in front of goal, but still important for the team. I think that's it. And Sweden know that he's important for the team. And therefore, you never know. It might be his turn now in the course of time.

- And he's coming in those places to score the goals, which is very important.

- Absolutely.

- It's interesting, the forward, John Guidetti, said before this game, go Google the word team, and a picture of us will come up. So the team again. And this is becoming a theme here. It's not the individual. It's the team that is pushing sides deep into this tournament. So it's Sweden.